December 6th, 2011 – Christmas Tree Hunting and Christmas Lights!

Jack is finally at an age where he is actively creating memories. He’s also at an age where he can grasp the concept of what holidays are or at least begin anticipating them as they’re explained. This is one of the reasons Mommy and Daddy have been doing our best to make sure this is an amazing holiday season for Little Man. Not only is the first Christmas that he might be able to remember when he’s older, thus potentially setting the stage for his warm fuzzy feelings about Christmas, but this is also the last holiday season that our little family will consist of just Mommy, Daddy, and Jack. If all goes according to plan, Jack will be greeting his new baby sister on December 29th, a day in which our family dynamic will change forever.

So, not only are Mommy and Daddy doing everything in our power to make this a memorable and awesome holiday because we just love Christmas, but also because we want to make sure Jack has an amazing Christmas as well. One of the ways we’ve been doing this is thinking about the great parts of our own childhood holidays and seeing what we can do to incorporate those events into Jack’s Christmas experience. For Daddy, one of the best Christmas memories he has includes the picking out of a real Christmas tree. Unfortunately, Mommy and Daddy haven’t had a real Christmas trees together and it’s been since we were kids that we’ve participated in a Christmas in which a live Christmas tree was even present. So, Daddy had the great idea that we would take Jack to pick out and buy a Christmas tree.

This week, picking out a Christmas tree was our big holiday event for the week. Rather than going to a tree farm, which we thought Jack might be a little to young for yet, we opted for our neighborhood Home Depot. This worked on several levels. First, it’s just aroundt he corner from our house. This is great because if Jack’s mood started to take a turn for the worse, we were only a few minutes from his comfort zone, second, if the tree happened to fall off of the top of the car, Daddy wouldn’t have far to walk it. (Daddy likes to be prepared for such events). Also, Home Depot carries not only trees, but a few other items we needed to pick up. It seemed like the perfect location for our tree purchase.

When we arrived, Little Man was ecstatic! Since his signing vocabulary has been growing leaps and bounds, he was thrilled to be in a store with so many things that he recognized and could comment on. He was also pretty stoked about there being dogs in the store. For some odd reason there were quite a few people visiting Home Depot with their pets, which Jack was more than happy to comment on. As we passed a dog, a door, a toilet, a faucet, anything that he knew the sign for, Jack would squeal with delight and begin to sign what the object was. It was so thrilling for Mommy and Daddy to see.

By the time we reached the trees, Jack was practically in a signing frenzy. Then, he saw the trees, which, because they weren’t in the ground, growing straight and tall, he though they all had “owies” and were “broken”. So, he began to convey these thoughts with his signs. . .

After smelling and touching the various trees, eventually Jack picked out a tree that he liked. He pointed, Daddy inspected, and so went the picking of our first, live, family Christmas tree.

 

 

 

 

Soon, it was time for Daddy to strap the selected, Jack approved tree, to the top of the car. Jack thought the entire event was thrilling. Mommy and Daddy had a great time because any time Little Man is happy, we’re happy. . . On a side note, it was Mommy’s job on the way home to watch the shadow of the tree while we drove to make sure it wasn’t falling off the car. Fortunately, despite a little shifting, Daddy didn’t have to walk the tree home.

 

Once we arrived home, Mommy turned on the Christmas music while Daddy hauled in the tree and ornaments. With help from Little Man, soon we had a completely decorated tree in time for us to head out to look at Christmas lights as a family.

Driving around while looking at Christmas lights has always been one of our favorite activities. In fact, it’s one of those things that Mommy and Daddy looked forward to doing with Jack for as long as there has been even the idea of Jack. However, this was the first year that Jack actually seemed to see and register the lights. In years past Mommy and Daddy have often wondered if he understood what we were doing or if he found the activity enjoyable. This year, there’s no question, Jack loves looking at Christmas lights.

As we drove around, listening to Christmas favorites, many of which played and Mommy and Daddy’s wedding and wedding reception, Jack could hardly contain himself. Every time he saw a light display, whether it be elaborate or few strands strung atop a commercial building, he would yell with excitement and point until Mommy or Daddy commented on the lights and acknowledged that, yes, we too, saw these fun lights. This made for a fun, albeit very loud Christmas adventure. To top off the amazing evening, we stopped off at Dairy Queen for some dessert. Jack had his very first, very own soft serve ice cream and Mommy and Daddy had their favorite Blizzards, Oreo for Daddy, and Snickers for Mommy. It probably goes without saying that Jack ate his with great zest and zeal, but then again, a picture is worth a thousand words. . .

By the time Little Man was finished with his ice cream, the treat was all over his face, hands, and shirt. Most of that was a result of him planting himself face first into his cup in an attempt to get as much ice cream as possible as quickly as possible. Thankfully we were headed home to deposit Jack into a nice, warm, and cleansing bath.

It’s moments like these that give Mommy and Daddy new reasons for loving the holidays and being a Mommy and Daddy.

 

 

Quick Jack Facts

  • Ask anyone, especially Daddy, and you’ll hear that Mommy loves chocolate and I love cookies, although, with the exception of when I’m pregnant, this love comes in moderation. However, other than snickerdoodles, chocolate chip cookies are one of my favorite cookies. So, it’s no surprise that one of my favorite activities is baking cookies with Jack. He has also inherited my love of chocolate and he certainly loves baking/cooking, and just helping Mommy in general in the kitchen. So, when Mommy has a craving, Jack needs a distraction, or it just sounds like a good idea, Mommy will bust out a quick muffin or cookie mix for us to make together. This week, we made some chocolate chip cookies. The funny thing was that despite Jack’s enthusiasm for the task and obvious anticipation he showed as he waited for the cookies to emerge from the oven, he didn’t care to eat any of the cookies. Granted, he gave it the old college try, but apparently chocolate chip cookies are just not for him. If I weren’t there for his birth, I might have to actually question if he were mine. . .

 

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